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Street bids save city money

Getting assessed is never going to be a joyous occasion but when the assessment comes in 36 percent under what was originally estimated residents have something to be happy about.

Tuesday night the Rosemount City Council approved the assessments for the 2008 Street Improvement Project after a public hearing at which no residents spoke.

Favorable bids brought down the cost of the 2008 Street Improvement Project and saved residents living on or near Cornell Trail and Claret Avenue hundreds of dollars.

Original estimates for the project would have cost single family home owners more than $3,000 and multiple-family home owners more than $1,500. Instead single family home owners will pay $1,990 and multi-family homes will pay $1,050.

City engineer Andy Brotzler said for better or worse the bad economic conditions most likely led to the favorable bids. He said there are more companies bidding for less work which brought the cost of the project down.

The project included the street rehabilitation of Cornell Trail West, 156th Street between Claret Avenue and Chippendale Avenue, Cornell Trail between Claret Avenue and 156th Street, Claret Avenue between 155th Street West and Cornell Trail and Cicerone Path between Cornell Trail and 150 feet north of 158th Street West. Damaged curb and gutter was also replaced.

The project has not been completed yet. Brotzler said a last layer of blacktop will be laid by the end of next week.

In addition to the street improvements the project included construction of new concrete sidewalk along the south side of 156th Street, south side of Cornell Trail and the west and north side of Cicerone Path. Costs of the sidewalk improvements were funded by the city's Pedestrian Facility Improvement fund and not included in the assessment.

The total cost of the project came in at $906,200 including the sidewalk improvements. In accordance with city policy 35 percent of the street project costs for the improvements was assessed to properties adjacent to the work done. The project cost will be assess over a 10-year period at an interest rate of 5.75 percent.

SKB makes a donation

In other business the city council received a donation from SKB Environmental that will assist with the installation of athletic facilities. The company offered to donate up to $200,000 worth of earthwork or construction for capital improvements to benefit the community.

Community development director Kim Lindquist said a decision has not been made as to what project the donation will benefit but added that it could provide the grading for the property donated by Flint Hills Resources for an athletic complex or in an area owned by the University of Minnesota which would house additional athletic facilities.

SKB president Rick O'Gara told the council that SKB is happy to provide something that will positively benefit the community for years to come.

"We are happy to do this," O'Gara said.